Taiwan Begins To Upgrade Its Fleet of F-16 Jets

  • Our Bureau
  • 03:28 PM, January 17, 2017
  • 4278
Taiwan Begins To Upgrade Its Fleet of F-16 Jets
Taiwan Begins To Upgrade Its Fleet of F-16 Jets

Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) with Lockheed Martin has started to upgrade the first four 144 F-16A/B fighters to the latest F-16V standard.

The NT$110 billion (US$3.47 billion) Phoenix Rising Project aims to upgrade all the F-16A/Bs to F-16Vs. The entire fleet is to be upgraded by 2023, Taipei Times reported today.

An upgrade of the nation’s fleet of F-16 jets began, with four of the aircraft flown to a plant in Taichung to undergo retrofitting. The four warplanes are the first batch to be upgraded to F-16Vs, an enhanced variant of the F-16A/B, of which the nation has a fleet of 144.

Taiwan is to be the first nation worldwide to have a fleet of F-16Vs, which Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan said could match China’s Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter.

AIDC and US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin Corp, the original producer of F-16s, were awarded the contract to carry out the upgrades.

Lockheed Martin in 2015 completed the upgrade and test flight of an F-16 owned by Taiwan but stationed at a US Air Force base.

AIDC is responsible for carrying out the retrofitting program in Taiwan, with the first four F-16Vs expected to be upgraded by the end of this year.

“AIDC is to complete the upgrade of 25 to 28 F-16s every year and the air force’s entire fleet, including 10 F-16s stationed at a US base will be upgraded by 2023,” Republic of China Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Fan Ta-wei’s said at a legislative session in November.

The upgraded aircraft are to be fitted with active electronically scanned array fire-control radar — the most important feature of the upgrade — which enables F-16Vs to detect stealth aircraft.

The F-16Vs are also to be equipped with advanced avionics, including a new flight management system and helmet-mounted display system, and the upgraded jets would carry more advanced missiles, such as AIM-9X Sidewinders.

With a radar system on a par with those of fifth-generation fighters, the F-16Vs are expected to shoulder the nation’s air defense for the next two decades. 

Also Read

US To Provide Components For Taiwan's MIM-72 Surface To Air Missiles

January 16, 2017 @ 03:21 PM

Taiwan Tests Anti-Ballistic missile Amid Tensions With Beijing

December 15, 2016 @ 11:47 AM

Taiwan To Provide Emergency Assistance To Chinese Military Planes

December 13, 2016 @ 09:09 AM

Taiwan To Locally Upgrade MICA Missiles in ITS Mirage 2000 Jets

December 6, 2016 @ 02:56 PM

China Attempts Hacking US-Taiwan Defense Conference

October 29, 2016 @ 03:59 PM

US Firm Awarded $65M Aircraft Maintenance Contract For Taiwan’s F-16s

April 25, 2017 @ 09:24 AM

Taiwan Owns Missiles that Can Destroy China's Invasion Bases

March 20, 2017 @ 05:44 PM

Taiwanese Navy Plans To Build New Helicopter Carrier

March 8, 2017 @ 02:27 PM

Taiwan Deploys Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile To East Coast

March 2, 2017 @ 01:47 PM

Taiwan Aims To Complete Fighter Jet Prototype In 10-Years

March 2, 2017 @ 01:42 PM

F-35 Fighter Jet Price Drops Make F-16, Gripen Unattractive For India

February 9, 2017 @ 03:12 PM
FEATURES/INTERVIEWS